F-16 in 1/72 scale : another TAMIYA kit converted into a F-16E Block 60
from page 17...
|Another TAMIYA 1/72
scale F-16C kit was made but converted. The
kit itself was described in more detail on
I did not have a 1/72 scale Block 60 F-16 model and wanted to make a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) air force aircraft. The F-16 Block 60 single seater is also referred to as F-16E (the two seater as the F-16F) with advanced systems and sensors and is able to fire advanced weaponry. Also, no pitot tube on the nose is fitted. Up till now the U.A.E. is the only customer for the F-16E / F Block 60 with some 82 aircraft.
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The Block 60 base configuration is as seen on a Block 50:- the GE F110 engine
- big MCID intake
- thick base tail but with additional inlets on a thicker forward area
- "beer can" antennas on the wing leading edges
- heavy stronger undercarriage with "bulged" wheel doors
- the LAU-129 wing tip launchers.
but has additional changes regarding to systems and associated externally small visible fairings, antennas and scoops etc.; these will be described below.
NOTE: many years ago in 2011 Hasegawa had a limited release kit for a F-16E Block 60 in 1/72 scale with kit #01944. This expensive kit I did not have and was unable to obtain from any source. So it was decided to do a CONVERSION of a TAMIYA Block 50 kit using information about this Hasegawa F-16E kit found on the internet.
The conversion will be described step by step using the Tamiya kit instructions.
STEP 1: the forward fuselage and gear bay was simple assembled as per Tamiya kit instructions.
As modern Blocks, the Block 60 can also be fitted with Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) fitted on the top of the center fuselage. The U.A.E. aircraft are always seen fitted with these.
For the model I was lucky to have a pair of aftermarket CFT in resin; but they can also be found in e.g. the Kinetic F-16D kits.
It needs considerable filling and sanding to get a flush result so take some time here.
STEP 2: as with many other F-16 Blocks, the IFF antenna "bird slicers" are fitted. So the kit part #A11 was used here. At the end of the intake tunnel I suggested an engine fan with a round piece of card fitted on the inside.
STEP 3: the small fairings seen of many F-16's and on parts #A13 and A14 are NOT relevant for the F-16E, there are now various smaller and other ones. I retained the open grill below the right cockpit edge. The appropriate modern LAU-129 wing tip missile rails were also set in place.
Leave STEPs 4, 5, 6 for the F110 exhaust and the undercarriage for later.
STEPs 7,8 deals with the appropriate large MCID intake. I think that the smaller side inlets #H2, H3 should also be used. Leave off the nose undercarriage for later. The small anti-collision lights #E3 are not used: on the F-16E two small protruding fairings with these lights are seen. These fairings can be found in other F-16 kits like in the Revell F-16C kit parts #11+13 or the Kinetic F-16D part #F12. They can also be made from scrap with some thick card.
STEP 9: wait with the nose gear installment but add a small inlet of the left side of the large intake. This small intake is probably for additional cooling of systems.
STEP 10 can be done as per Tamiya instructions as the "V"-shaped main gear legs will be cut in two to fit later. The F-16E has a much larger cooling exhaust duct as the F-16C. I sanded off the area on the kit part #A19 and will add a large exhaust made from thick card later on. The 2+2 chaff/flare dispensers are correct for the F-16E.
STEP 11: do not yet fit the main undercarriage parts. On the F-16E a small additional intake/inlet is seen aft of the main gear bay just in front of the ventral fins.
STEP 12 deals with the vertical tail. On the F-16E this tail has a quite different shape at its base as various systems with their inlet and exhausts are fitted here. The forward section of the tail base should be made thicker, this was done by modifying the assembly of parts #A21+A22 with plastic card and putty.
On the top of the forward section a small inlet as per F-16C/D is seen but also a big inlet on the right side (seen below) and on the left side a large exhaust.
The standard small bulges (as on the C/D) on right and left side of the tail base are also smaller in length, this was done by cutting off the forward areas of these bulges.
The standard USAF style rear tail fairing parts #A25+A26 can be fitted as per kit.
NOTE: I did not use the Tamiya tail parts as I needed those on another kit. I had some others spare tails from a Hasegawa F-16 ADF to use to do this conversion.
After shaping and sanding, the upper tail section #A23 can be installed.
On each side of the vertical tail in front of the rudder a low visibility light strip was added on a raised panel that was made from thin card. Putty and sanding was needed.
STEP 12 with fitting the stabilizers and converted vertical tail was now done.
The installment of the cockpit interior and canopy was done later.
The basic assembly is complete but a few additional sensors, bulges and air scoops/ inlets and exhausts were to be fitted:
- 2 bulges/ sensors on each nose side that are fitted on a slightly different position (as on parts #A13, A14).
- 2 low visibility light panels below these nose sensors made from very thin card.
- a larger sensor offset to the left postion in front of the windscreen. I found a bit in the spares box or make from thick rod.
Note also the correct LAU-129 wing tip launch rails (as per kit).
The larger airco cooling exhaust duct in front of the main gear bay was made from thick card:
Advanced weaponry can be deployed by the F-16E as it seems that the AN/AAQ-33 "sniper pod" as seen in STEPs 19, 22 is always fitted on the right side at the lower intake. This pod is in the kit and was set in place to get also the various paints.
STEP 16: the nose can be fitted but not the pitot tube #A1. The F-16E does NOT have a nose pitot, the first F-16 Block not having this pitot. So to get a pointed nose, a small rod was glued at the nose and all sanded in a tip shape. The photo shows some extra sanding still is needed.
The model was ready to get a first base grey coat to check for any errors. A coat of Revell 75 steingrau acrylic was airbrushed.
The main F-16E Block 60 conversion work was now completed.
Now what are the blue'ish / grey wrap-around camouflage colours?
The colours are first a base overall colour of Fed.Std FS36495 for which Gunze Sangyo H338 acrylic was airbrushed. The second darker camo colour is FS36320 grey, using Gunze Sangyo H307. Some masking film was used for the job.
Also the larger type 600 gallon fuel tanks from a Kinetic F-16 kit were given the paints.
..... and after removal of the masking tape/ film...
The U.A.E. roundels were hard to find but I was lucky to have a decalset of the Italeri Mirage 2000 kit #1381.
I needed 2 additional roundels and had an old Microscale sheet, but that was printed "off center" so I had to improvise a bit by cutting these Microscale roundels with a fine scissor. This "imperfect" pair of roundels was set below the wing where they are less visible.
The tail numbers came from the decal spares box. The dark grey stencils and markings came from various F-16 decal sets and it appears that no walk way lines are present on the U.A.E. F-16's.
The rest of the assembly was tackled to complete the model.
Continue'ing with Tamiya instruction STEPs 14,15....
the ACES seat looks to be good for a later style Block seat type. I added harnesses and straps from painted tape. The later style HUD is provided for the later Block F-16's is in the kit though for the "E" it may be different with a "wide angle reflection" HUD.
The landing gears were installed as per STEPs 6-11. The single piece main undercarriage "V" strut center section was cut in two and legs could be fitted. The front gear door has the later Block landing lights package (part #E4). Main gear colour here is white with some wash added inside the gear bays and gear legs; a mix of acrylic varnish and black paint will do. A few "hydraulics" were added made from thin metal wires on the legs and inside the bays.
The new U.A.E. F-16E's fleet is relatively "clean" and well maintained. So no additional weathering was done except a bit wash in the moving surfaces gaps of flaps and ailerons.
The F-16E Block 60 is quite an advanced aircraft capable of delivering various weaponry. So it was decided to add quite some on the model such as the HARM, AIM-9X and AMRAAM on the LAU-129 launchers (as per Tamiya kit including the various adapters). Also the large long range fuel tanks (from a Kinetic kit) were set in place.
Some model details are shown here....
Some 15 static dischargers (only about 2mm long each) were cut from fishing line and set in place. On the nose the pitot tube was made from a needle and the anti-collision lights on the intake painted. On the wing tip an AIM-9L Sidewinder was installed as well as the various pylons.
A semi-gloss varnish coat was airbrushed on top in a few thin layers to give an even sheen and protect the decals.
The canopy seems to have a "gold tinted" transparent coating. I painted with a wide brush a mix of Tamiy X-24 clear yellow + Tamiya thinner on the inside of the canopy.
The two side handles are missing inside the canopy, these were made from black stretched sprue. The canopy fits well but in open position I shortened the pegs about 2 mm of part #G3.
That completed a nice F-16E Block 60.
United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة
[ area: 83,660 sq.km | capital: Abu Dhabi | population: 9,5 million | GDP USD 42,000 nominal per capita ]
The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) comprise several Gulf states: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimab, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain. Each Gulf state is governed by a ruler and family but these cooperate. In the 1960s still part of the British Commonwealth some aircraft flown were from 1970 Hunters and and Dassault delivered over 24 Mirage 5 AD. Training was also done with Pakistan assistance. From 1971 independence was obtained in various phases and defense was taken up by Abu Dhabi through their air force and Dubai through their air wing. These operated also helicopters like Bell AB-205, AB-206, Puma, Gazelles, Bo-105 and Lynx. Other aircraft flown in small numbers were Skyvan, C-130, Buffalo, G.222, B707 and from 1978 a few MB.326 attack aircraft. Hawk trainers were also used.
During the first Gulf War from August 1990 - February 1991 the U.A.E. supported Allied forces against Iraq.
Not earlier than probably 1990 Mirage 2000 fighters were arrived but these saw than little action. From 1998 discussions focused on acquiring the advanced F-16 Block 60. The program had several delays but eventually in 2004 the first F-16 Block 60 arrived with some 55 F-16E and 25 two seater F-16F ordered.
The National Aerobatic Team "Al Fursan" flies the MB.339NAT that is also used as trainer with a dozen flown as well as also some 30 PC-7 and 25 PC-21. Transports are types like the C-130, CN-235 and especially some 8 large C-17.
End 2021 it was announced 80 Rafale fighters were to be acquired along with 12 Airbus Caracal helicopters.
The main U.A.E bases are Al Dhafra and Batin in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and Minhad in Dubai.
The armed forces nowadays also operate some 30 AH-64 Apache helicopters and several other helicopters like Cougars, some 19 CH-47 Chinooks, over 50 Sikorsky UH-60 for transport and utility tasks.
a nice F-16E Block 60 in the World Air Forces series
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Created this page April 15, 2019;
updated Dec 4, 2021